Above: watch the CMA performance of "Wichita Lineman" on November 8, 2017.
Little Big Town performed one of the most touching tributes at Wednesday night's (Nov. 8) 2017 CMA Awards. The group, made up of Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet, sang "Wichita Lineman," in honor of Glen Campbell, accompanied on the piano by Jimmy Webb, who wrote the classic tune.
Webb, who wrote other hits for Campbell, including "Galveston" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," couldn't think of a better way to pay tribute to his late friend than by sharing the stage with the reigning CMA Vocal Group of the Year.
"The blend of the male and female voices is angelic. It’s like something you just don’t hear that much," Jimmy Webb says of Little Big Town. "I’ve been making records, writing songs, for 50 years, and there’s something special about that group. So when they asked me, would I play the piano for "Wichita Lineman," first I picked myself up off the floor, and then I said, ‘Yeah. I think I will take a shot at that. I hope I don’t disappoint.'"
– The Boot
I drifted from the center of the room, where I’d greeted Nancy Sinatra, a sweet, straightforward kid my age, and her father who wasn’t really known for long, frivolous conversations. Nobody knew who the hell I was unless they were telepathic, which made it easier to slide through the seekers and sounders and find a friendly bar stool in the corner. I ordered a beer and swiveled to face the crowd, which had reached maximum spatial saturation, a point at which literally no person in the room can move in any direction for any distance. Networking shuts down. Now people just want to get out alive.
I laughed and wheeled around to devote my attention to the gold veins in the black mirror behind the bar. “These Boots Are Made for Walking” was just short of deafening on the sound system as I felt, rather than sensed, a person immediately to my right.
A familiar baritone bourbon voice reverberated in my ear “Jimma.”
The guy had bent over and put his elbow right down on the bar to talk to me. I eased my head around cautiously, not sure who had managed to move in so close.
“Jimma!” he said again, and I found myself nose-to-nose and eyebrow-to-eyebrow with Elvis Presley.